Saturday, January 31, 2009

Welcome to the USRA

Brace yourselves.

Under President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, accumulated federal debt will go from about 36% of GDP to as much as 70% of GDP or more, depending on whose numbers you follow.

The annual federal deficit will increase from approximately 4.5% of GDP to as much as 15% of GDP - potentially even more if Democrats continue to find ways to spend money.

Federal government control of our national economy (government owned or controlling interest in business and industry), because of how the 'bailout' funding is being used, will skyrocket to 44%, including control of our financial centers, our construction industry, healthcare and manufacturing. If it moves money or is heavily unionized, chances are the federal government will have a substantial or controlling interest in it.

Welcome to the United Socialist Republic of America.

I applaud the Republicans for trying to get the word out about the egregious examples of pork and pet project funding that went into the newly passed spending package - this is no bailout or stimulus, but rather a laundry list of Democrat spending priorities geared toward increasing union power, promoting their social engineering agenda and stengthening the influence (and campaign fundraising power) of their other constituencies. I'm glad that Republicans stood together and voted against the bill as a group rather than peeling off on their own.

It's not nearly enough.

First, we have very few media outlets that are even willing to cover the Republican side of the issue, much less cover it in a substantial and objective manner.

Second, we don't have even close to the voting strength we would need to either block legislation on our own, or even enough to influence the remaining centrist Democrats to vote with us on key issues. They are far more concerned about staying in the good graces of their party's leaders right now.

Third, the man occupying the White House right now is showing that he's more than happy to be a bully if it suits him, smugly telling Republicans that, "I won" and that we can't listen to Rush Limbaugh and expect to get anything done - and he has the enforcers in both houses of Congress to back him up. In other words, he's got the executive power, he's got the voting numbers, he's got the adoration of the media, and he intends to use it to remake the world in his image.

We are real trouble, folks. Now, I know that every time Democrats control either the White House or the Congress, we wring our hands and lament about the impending doom that could result from their influence. I know that every election is a historic election. I know that there are always people predicting the end of the world as we know it regardless of what's really happening. But this time, with this convergence of circumstances, cultural influences and power players, I believe we could honestly witness the end of the kind of America we know and love. We are looking at moving toward adopting governmental and financial models similar to Germany and France - countries the liberals adore, but that we have no interest in emulating. If we go that route, we will sink to their level, and the dream of America as we know it - the land of freedom and opportunity - will be lost, possibly for good.

What are we going to do about it?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Here's a novel stimulus plan

President Obama wants to pump another trillion dollars of federal money back into the economy. Democrats are lining up to make sure their favorite industry, cause, or district is part of the largesse. We are poised to see the control of our economy shift from the private sector to the government, in ways that may not be able to be undone for decades, if at all. The ripple effect across the globe will be enormous, and the unintended consequences of such a sea change cannot even be quantified yet.

And the best the Republicans have to say is that it's too much money? They're whining because the socialists who now control Washington have not given them a big enough seat at the table to determine which industries should get checks that will be paid by our great grandchildren?

No wonder we lost.

Here's a novel idea: if you want to get a trillion dollars working in the American economy, how about taking a trillion dollars less out of it to begin with???

If Republicans said, "Instead of having government get its claws even deeper into American business, we're going to reduce our involvement - and our cut of the take - by $1 trillion through tax cuts targeted to stimulate business, relieve homeowners and working families and encourage charitable giving", now that would be a bold alternative vision that Americans could get behind.

Imagine - a $1 trillion tax cut that:
- rewards small business investment by beefing up deductions and tax credits that can be taken for start ups, expansion, providing jobs, providing health insurance and other benefits;

- relieves homeowners by providing optional interest deduction schedules that allow homeowners to deduct mortgage interest at accelerated rates, perhaps even an outright tax credit in interest for the next two years rather than a deduction;

- at least doubles the dependent deduction to provide relief for families with children;

- completely reforms the puny deductions that can be taken for healthcare costs right now and provides taxpayers the ability to take outright tax credits for premiums and other out of pocket expenses;

- cuts the capital gains rate;

- in a new move to encourage charitable giving, provide a tax credit for charitable contributions made to 501c3 organizations up to $100,000.

Instead of porking out $1 trillion in programs and projects that will only reward the Democrats' constituencies and strengthen their socialist stranglehold on the only real bastion of economic freedom in the entire world, let's put government on a $1 trillion diet by cutting taxes to stimulate the economy. The federal government gets $1 trillion further in debt either way. At least this way we've got real economic stimulation going on, and it will force us to confront federal government obesity head on without pretending we had no choice in the matter.

Come on, Republicans. We've got $1 trillion to work with. Get creative. Get a vision Americans can get behind and stop the Democrats before they pull the plug on the American dream.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A round of Introductions

I finally caved on my prohibition to be yet another person on the web venting my opinions. So many people I know (and don't know) have started their own blogs, it began to seem positively passe. With all the blogging out there already, I couldn't imagine I'd have anything new or interesting to add to the global conversation. Besides, I used to do this for a living. Before blogs even existed, I was writing electronic columns that were emailed to a subscriber list of roughly 7,500 people - not bad in 1999.

So, what's changed my mind? It's probable that I still don't have anything original to add to the new global conversation. There are others much better educated and much more gifted than I doing this very thing. What motivated me to put my thoughts out there for the whole world to see (or at least a handful of people with nothing better to do but read my rants)?

John Murtha.

This longtime Congressman from Pennsylvania proved himself a jackass over and over again during the presidential campaign. Still, I cannot comprehend how someone who has spent so much time in Washington, who has been re-elected time after time, who has access to so much information and so many experts that we do not on a daily basis, can be so colossally stupid. I am infuriated by his idiocy. I cannot abide his obtuse perspectives. And I am equally appalled by the fact that we do not seem to have any Republican leaders on the national stage willing to call him out for the dimwit that he is.

So here I am. Again.

I know there are others who think the same things I will write. There are plenty of others who will communicate much better than I can. I simply cannot contain myself anymore; hence the blog.

I wanted to give this new administration a fair chance. In spite of my misgivings and my fundamental disagreements with our new President, I wanted to think that he was shrewd enough to play even-handedly, at least at the beginning. Boy, was I wrong.

It took less than 48 hours for President Obama to declare that he was going to shut down the Guantanamo Bay military prison installation that currently houses some of the most lethal and most capable sociopaths in the world. Some of them have planned, financed or executed the most heinous acts of violence against innocent people that we have ever seen. Some of them are connected to the biggest players in the international terror industry. Yet, the President who only 72 hours ago (give or take, depending on which oath you use for timing) swore to faithfully execute the duties of his office and protect the American people, showed with a flourish of his pen that he cares more about appeasing terrorists and their sponsors than he cares about protecting Americans. But the icing on that cake was John Murtha's flippant comment that he would happily take those displaced sociopaths and house them in a minimum security federal facility in his district while they await trials designed to protect their phantom Consititutional rights saying, "Sure, I'd take 'em. They're no more dangerous in my district than in Guantanamo."


Did I really just witness a United States Congressman say that housing some of the most lethal international sociopaths in the world at a Club Fed facility in the middle of America's heartland is no more dangerous than keeping them locked down in a maximum security military installation off U.S. soil separated from U.S. citizens?

I don't know how Murtha has managed thus far in his life. He obviously has absolutely no understanding of how the prison system works, how military installations work, who these people are or what they are capable of accomplishing in a minimum security facility. Let's set aside the obvious security gaps for a moment that would make it so much easier for the Gitmo prisoners to plan and successfully execute an escape plan of their own. U.S. citizens who are serving time in U.S. prisons do have Constitutional rights (unlike the foreign terrorist prisoners, who don't even properly fall under the Geneva Convention). At a minimum security federal prison, inmates have significant access to the outside world through visiting policies, computer use, mail and phone privileges - and that's just the legal, above board portion of their communication. Then there's the black market system that trades dollars and goods for favors, along with intimidation, coersion, or old-fashioned corruption. How long would it take the terrorists, who have been trained in manipulation and intimidation tactics and who know there is an outside network of money and resources waiting for them if they can just make contact with it, to convince other American prisoners to carry messages for them, use their computer and internet time and their visitors to rebuild networks of communications that will allow them to resume their anti-American terrorist activities? Anyone want to to take odds on "immediately"?

This is just one example of what we're in for during the next four years. A new President who begins his administration of "change" by blowing off the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball honoring our Medal of Honor recipients but wastes no time in finding ways to release Islamic terrorists who have wounded and killed our most dedicated service members and innocent Americans, and a U.S. Congressman who invites those terrorists to live in his district among his constituents as casually as if he were inviting friends for a barbeque.

Perhaps he'd like to host that barbeque in the crater left by Flight 93.